10 George Orwell Quotes on Power and Politics

By January 21, 2017Authors, Political, Quotations

George Orwell (25th June 1903 – 21st January 1950) was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and social commentator. His works deal with themes of social injustice, totalitarianism and he was an outspoken supporter of democratic socialism.

Much of his work centred around politics and his influence so great he gave us the word ‘Orwellian’ to describe something totalitarian or overly authoritarian, and many of his neologisms such as Cold War, Big Brother, Room 101, Memory Hole, Thought Police and others are part of every day language today.

Today we’re concentrating on Orwell’s thoughts on Power and Politics and we’ve chosen quotes that aren’t necessarily so well known from his novels, but also from the many essays and news pieces he authored too.

“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”

“War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”

“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”



“Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”

“In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…”

“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”

“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

Terry Pratchett: His World – A Review of the Exhibition

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On until January 2018, the Salisbury Museum with donations and support from The Estate of Terry Pratchett, and Paul Kidby – Sir Terry Pratchett’s artist of choice – present an exhibition entitled ‘Terry Pratchett: His World’.

The exhibition is a unique collection of artefacts which portray his amazing life and career, from his first novel The Carpet People which was published in 1971 to his later novels including the Discworld series. Artwork from the Discworld novels including over 40 original illustrations by Paul Kidby adorn the walls and will make any Discworld fan nostalgic for the books.

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The Private Lives of Authors: Sylvia Plath

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Many people know about Sylvia Plath’s writing, her relationship with Ted Hughes, and her battle with mental illness. A little known fact about Plath, however, was her passion for beekeeping.

Her love for bees began with her father, Otto Plath, who was a bumble bee expert.  Otto Plath’s book Bumblebees and Their Ways was published in 1934 and is still used today. Plath’s father grew up in Germany where he gained the nickname Beinen-Konig, meaning King of the Bees. Boston University recognised his knowledge and passion, giving him a place on their academic staff as the Professor of Entomology.

 

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Philip K. Dick: From Book to Film – A Video Essay

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Philip K. Dick December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982 was an American writer notable for his works of science fiction where his writing is dominated by authoritarian themes, alternate universes and altered states of consciousness, many of which have been adapted for film and television.

His work has spanned many decades, and you can often age people by what they know him for. In the early 80s when the movie adaptation was released, we all passed around copies of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, today The Man in the High Castle is big news thanks to Amazon. Read More

Philip Pullman’s New Novel Accidentally Published Early

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Readers in the Netherlands have had a bit of a treat this week as Philip Pullman’s new novel The Book of Dust has been accidentally published in the country several weeks early.

The Book of Dust: Volume 1 ‘La Belle Sauvage’ was due for worldwide publication on 19th October but due to a mix up, Dutch publishers Uitgeverij Prometheus distributed copies early, seeing copies of the books hit the shelves on 4th October.

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The Private Lives of Authors: Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois in the USA in 1899.

He was guided by his parents to enjoy the fruits of a suburban, middle class life with music lessons, and regular trips to the lakes and woods of North Michigan. His father would take Ernest for hunting and fishing trips, and these excursions would influence his profound love of nature, often reflected in his later work.

Despite professing his dislike for his musician mother, Ernest attributes the rhythm and contour of his writing to his musical background. Hemingway biographer Michael S. Reynolds explains how Hemingway in fact mirrored his mother’s vivacity. Perhaps their similarities partly caused Ernest’s scorn for his mother.

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Roald Dahl’s Charlie Was Originally Written As A Black Character.

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In an interview with BBC Radio 4 last month, Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy Dahl, revealed that the “…first Charlie that he wrote about was a little black boy. I don’t know (why it was changed). It’s a great pity.”

Dahl biographer, Donald Sturrock, told the Today Programme:

“I can tell you that it was his agent who thought it was a bad idea, when the book was first published, to have a black hero. She said people would ask: ‘Why?'”

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